Dodgers Team News

Shohei Ohtani Wants to Do Home Run Derby, But Will Dodgers Let Him?

Shohei Ohtani has expressed interest in this year’s Home Run Derby, but he is far from committing to it. He hasn’t even been invited yet.

“I have to get an offer first,” Ohtani told reporters after Tuesday’s 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox. “I’m also rehabilitating, so I need the doctor’s approval and the trainers’ approval, and the team’s approval.

“Of course, I have feelings of wanting to do it. I think any player would. I think it depends on how it lines up with the other parts.”

If manager Dave Roberts gets his way, Ohtani won’t participate. Not because he doesn’t want him to but because Ohtani is still rehabbing from a second Tommy John surgery. There are potential dangers in all of those maximum effort swings and neither Ohtani nor the Dodgers can afford for him to get seriously injured.

“For the game, I think it’s great, for the workload part of it, I’d probably not want him to do it,” Roberts said before Wednesday night’s series finale against the White Sox. “For me, I think ultimately I will just defer to him.

“No one can argue that a manager wouldn’t want their player to swing as hard as he can for essentially 45 minutes when [that player] is supposed to be on a break, right? But the other side is, obviously, he’s the biggest star in the game, and it makes [the derby] more attractive. So I think whatever he decides, I’ll support it.”

Photo Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

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Maren Angus

Maren Angus-Coombs was born in Los Angeles and raised in Nashville, Tenn. She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and has been a sports writer since 2008. Despite being raised in the South, her sports obsession has always been in Los Angeles. She is currently a staff writer for Dodgers Nation and the LA Sports Report Network.

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